San Francisco, CA, October 3, 2008—The Shure Unidyne Model 55 was one of this year’s inductees at The Mix TECnology Hall of Fame, held at the AES Convention in San Francisco. The Foundation for Excellence in Audio established the TECnology Hall of Fame to honor and recognize audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology.
The Unidyne Model 55 was developed by Shure engineer Benjamin Bauer. Seeking to create a low cost cardioid dynamic microphone, Bauer attempted to improve the unidirectional microphone pattern, which had only been achieved by multi-element mics that combined the outputs of omni and figure 8 capsules. This approach resulted in bulky mics with uneven frequency response and unpredictable directional patterns. Bauer felt a single-capsule approach was the only workable solution and through experimentation he developed a mic element having front and rear openings that allowed sound waves to reach the diaphragm. Partially blocking the rear openings created a short phase delay that effectively attenuated the sounds from the rear, and the Unidyne was born.
Debuting in 1939 as the Model 55 A/B/C (each had different impedances), the Unidyne was an immediate hit and nearly 70 years later, it remains a classic icon and is still in production as Model 55SH Series II, which combines vintage looks with a modern capsule.
“The grill design of the 55 was based on a 1937 Cadillac, to associate it with high quality”, said Michael Pettersen, Shure’s Director of Applications Engineering. “The 55 appearance is known worldwide as a ‘microphone’ and its unique styling has made it a popular choice for numerous videos, movies, and advertisements”.